Water Quality in the River Liffey

Water samples of the River Liffey were taken on 31st July and 1st August 2019 and the results became available today, Friday 2nd August at 1.30pm. The results are exceptionally poor, and significantly exceed the maximum permitted levels for designated bathing waters.

Irish Water was also made aware yesterday evening 1st August, of an overflow or discharge of sewage from the Irish Water sewer network in the area of Knockmaroon. This discharge may have been active for some days before being rectified.  We were advised at 12.30 pm today, 2nd August by Irish Water that the matter is now resolved and the discharge has ceased. Notices have been placed at the designated bathing water locations.

Due to the fact that the annual Liffey Swim is scheduled to take place tomorrow Saturday 3rd August, Dublin City Council has notified the HSE and the event organisers of these sample results. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get any more up to date samples taken and tested in advance of the event. The river Liffey is not a designated bathing water location.

While any decision in relation to this event is a matter for the organisers, it is noted that a number of tidal cycles will have taken place prior to the Liffey Swim and that, as is done every year, the ESB will increase flows in the Liffey prior to the event to further dilute any residual contaminants. It would, therefore, be hoped that the river water quality will have improved significantly by the time of the event but, unfortunately, no guarantees can be given in this regard.

Given the long history of this event, Dublin City Council regrets that the water quality in the Liffey would appear to have been badly impacted by this unforeseeable event and it looks forward to working with Irish Water and all other agencies to achieve improved water quality in all our water courses in the future.

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